My Everton #35: The Intense Pleasures & Unforgettable Nightmares

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There are certain golden moments that stay with you forever.

Like the moment Pat van den Hauwe scored the winner against Norwich to secure the title for Everton in 1987, or the moment Dave Watson punched the air in delight as Everton won the 1995 FA Cup Final against overwhelming favourites Manchester United. Or even the moment Stuart McCall leapt into Kevin Ratcliffe's arms as his last-ditch equaliser proved insufficient as Everton lost 3-2 to Liverpool in the 1989 FA Cup Final.

At that time, the only way we could get live coverage was through BBC Radio. I was 12 years old and brushing my teeth when I heard van den Hauwe score the goal at Norwich to secure the 1986-87 title. It’s a memory that will stay with me forever. I will always remember that morning.

I started watching football following the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. In Singapore, we grew up watching the English First Division. The biggest teams were Merseyside rivals Liverpool and Everton.

I don't remember the first Everton game I watched, but it would have been on Big League Soccer hosted by Brian Moore.

I fell in love with Everton and life has never been the same.

I was drawn into the blue of Everton and the style and philosophy of the Club. It has filled my life with intense pleasures, unforgettable nightmares, and everything in between.

Unfortunately, I haven't managed to convert any friends or family into Evertonians. However, I have a deeply strong bond with my fellow members of the Singapore Everton Supporters' Club (SESC).

The SESC has been a godsend. I first met them in 2013 and have connected with this motley crew in a special way. There is certainly a special connection when you bond over your favourite football club and perhaps even more special when it is a rarely supported football club in Singapore such as Everton.

The SESC has about 600 members in Singapore. We are very active on social media and on WhatsApp and Facebook, where we will meticulously scrutinize every aspect of an Everton game. It’s great to share the trials and tribulations of your favourite club with a like-minded band of brothers and sisters.

Before the advent of social media, it was difficult to connect with fellow fans in Singapore. Frankly, I wasn't too sure if there were many of us!

We get together at various venues around Singapore to catch Everton in action and play football together. We even ventured to Malaysia together in 2015 to play a special match with the Malaysian Liverpool fan club and watch the famous Jagielka-Merseyside Derby.

The SESC was started in 2004 by a group of die-hard enthusiasts. I found them rather opportunistically when a member happened to spot me outside a shopping centre wearing my Everton jersey. They introduced me to the SESC Facebook page, and I became a member shortly after. I was asked if I would like to join the Executive Committee and eventually became Treasurer.

Seeing Everton play in Singapore during the 2015 Barclays Asia Trophy was truly the experience of a lifetime.

Everton really lived up to the expectation of being The People's Club.

Every day they organised different events for us and the SESC community really lapped it up. We attended a special dinner event with the club officials and ambassadors, where they shared stories past and present and had a Q&A session. We also had a special meet-the-players session with Seamus Coleman, Gerard Deulofeu, and John Stones.

The main event at the National Stadium where Everton played Arsenal for the Barclays Asia Trophy was a surreal experience, as a small group of about 500 Everton fans stunned Singapore and made headlines by out-cheering the 50,000 Arsenal faithful.

Truly, a sight to behold.

Supporting Everton is a joy. It is a passion that courses through your entire life.

It is true that once Everton has touched you nothing will be the same. Whether through good times or bad, Everton will always be in your heart.

By Keng Wei Terk, Evertonian and Treasurer of the Singapore Everton Supporters’ Club

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